President Greg Crawford with IES M.En. students at IES-sponsored EarthFest, April 2017
President Greg Crawford with IES M.En. students at IES-sponsored EarthFest, April 2017
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Message from the Director
Jonathan Levy
Greetings IES Alumni and Friends:
As I write this, my hydrogeology students are upstairs taking their final exam. (I feel their pain.) Soon my grading will be finished and another semester will be complete, marking 23.5 years for me at Miami and 2.5 years complete as Director of IES. I am happy to say that I am still loving my job. I feel terribly fortunate to be working with such a great group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and affiliates all dedicated to the mission of IES.
In October, IES underwent program review, a great opportunity for self-reflection. The review comprises a retrospective self-study and a strategic plan for the next five years. At the time of this writing, we are still waiting for our final review from the team of internal and external reviewers, but the strategic planning process has been of great value, bringing our specific goals into focus with the help of our Advisory Board, Executive Committee, IES faculty and staff and our graduate students.
One of our goals is to expand IES’s partnerships with local communities, especially historically underserved communities.  To that end, in 2018, we will begin collaborating with the US EPA College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP). Michael Burns, the CUPP National Program Manager, will be visiting Miami at the end of February, coordinating meetings with Miami faculty and local communities. IES has a long history of student-driven projects for local communities, but with help from the US EPA we hope to increase our local footprint and address the inseparable issues of social justice and environmental sustainability.
In 2017, we made our Willeke lecture part of that social justice theme.  We hosted Dr. Elizabeth Hoover from Brown University who shared her research and insights on environmental reproductive justice in a Mohawk community and its connection to colonialism. Dr. Hoover also spoke about food sovereignty in American Indian Communities. I am thrilled to announce that for our next Willeke lecture we continue to explore the connections between the environment, health and justice. Following a year of health care news, we will host MacArthur Fellow, Gary Cohen, the President and Executive Director of Health Care without Harm, an organization dedicated to transforming the health sector to make it “ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice.” I hope you can all join us on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00 pm for this exciting event.
There is so much more that will be happening in 2018. We truly hope you stay in touch and get involved in IES. I know we can use your help in many ways. We’d love to have you share your wisdom and experiences with students, give us recommendations for local projects, and of course contribute financially to the IES mission of educating students as professionals and global citizens to promote a more sustainable society. Contributions to that end could be used for supporting our Willeke Lecture series, funding our new community-based initiatives and scholarships for our international and diverse-domestic graduate students, to help them earn their M.En. degrees and spread their unique interdisciplinary perspectives across the country and the globe. Just let us know, and we can make sure that your donation will be used for the initiative you’d most like to support.
I sincerely thank all of our alumni, staff, faculty, affiliates and students who share our mission, and I look forward to an exciting and fruitful year.
All the best,
Jonathan Levy
2017 IES Highlights
In addition to the Willeke Lecture, highlights of this past year included our annual Environmental Professionals Symposium with five IES alumni in November, sharing their valuable insights and experiences in the job market. In November we also hosted Dr. John Francis, and environmental activist, writer and thinker who inspired students through both formal and informal talks and some banjo playing. It’s hard to explain what Dr. Francis is all about, so check out the web links including his TED talk. Our IES Year-End Banquet in April was anchored by a talk by Miami alumnus and newest member of the IES Advisory Board, Heather Royston, who at the time was the North American Director of Oil and Gas at Environmental Resources Management and now is the President, Industrial and Commercial at APTIM
The 2016-17 Professional Service Projects (PSPs)
The PSPs were a great success in 2017. Here are some highlights:
Elk Creek Inventory PSP team
Elk Creek Inventory PSP team 
Two members of the Elk Creek Inventory PSP team at the Graduate Research Forum, November 2017
Elk Creek Inventory PSP team 
The Fairfield Farmers’ Market PSP team at the Graduate Research Forum, November 2017
Fairfield Farmers’ Market PSP team
The PSP team on the issue of illicit discharge in Oxford’s stormwater system at the Graduate Research Forum, November 2017
PSP team on issue of illicit discharge in Oxford’s stormwater system
Manual created by PSP team
Program guide created by PSP team
Developing a Program to Detect and Eliminate Illicit Discharge into the Stormwater System of Oxford, Ohio
The City of Oxford Environmental Specialist, David Treleavan, said:
“Oxford’s Ohio EPA-approved Storm Water Management Program specifically states that an illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE) plan would be developed for the City. The IDDE Program Manual prepared by the 2016-2017 IES PSP graduate student team satisfied that best management practice commitment. Also, as part of the PSP, the storm water outfalls physically inspected by the PSP team as part of their development of the IDDE Program Manual assisted Oxford in fulfilling the Ohio EPA’s regulatory requirement that each stormwater outfall included in the Program is inspected at least once during the Permit’s five-year duration."
An Education Program Developed for the Fairfield, Ohio Village Green Farmers Market
The team developed an education program called Village Green Kids that was implemented during the summer 2017 farmers market season. Deliverables included an instructional guidebook, budget, list of materials and business plan, as well as 25 lesson plans covering science, healthy lifestyles, plants, and the natural world. Feedback from the first summer indicated the program was a success. 
Tiffany Acuff, the market manager, reported, "It did achieve my goal of creating a “buzz” amongst the kids...We will do it again next year and for years to come, I’m sure adding lessons to the already great variety provided.  [The] students were invaluable, and we are thankful for their diligence in seeing it through."
Elk Creek Watershed Inventory
The team was tasked with collecting all available information about Elk Creek Watershed, such as landuse and water quality. The client, Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District, indicated that "the work [the team] accomplished will be important for future projects and grant work conducted by Butler SWCD and partner agencies. It's really amazing the amount of work these students put into this project."
IES in the News
Ahead in 2018
As mentioned above, we start the year with Gary Cohen, Healthcare Without Harm, as our Willeke Lecturer on February 15. Two weeks later, Michael Burns from the US EPA in Atlanta will join us to as Miami becomes the first University in Ohio to be a part of CUPP. Late in the semester, we will hold the IES Banquet at which time we will hear from IES alumnus, Dr. Derric Pennington, a wildlife ecologist with the World Wildlife Fund. This summer, Dr. Levy will be returning to Zambia with IES students to continue his partnership with the University of Zambia and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency research water quality in low-income communities and toxic metal contamination in a lead-mining town.
Perhaps our most exciting development in the coming year will be the hire of a new assistant professor in IES.  The new position will be in AgroEcology and will be a shared position with the Department of Biology. Early in February, we will host our four top candidates for job interviews, and the new position will start in August. This position supports our continuing partnership with Miami’s new Institute for Food, its sustainable farm just off campus and what will be a new IES undergraduate co-major in Food Systems & Food Studies.
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